Boat ambulance service to begin operations at J&K’s Dal Lake

The first-ever boat ambulance service, equipped with health facilities, will start on Dal Lake in Jammu and Kashmir Valley soon and is expected to benefit thousands of people living in the area.

Tariq Ahmad Patloo, a houseboat owner thought of the concept of floating ambulance service when he tested positive for COVID-19 two months back and needed help to visit a hospital.

Patloo said, “At that time when I tested positive for coronavirus, nobody came forward to help me except my friend who provided me a boat to reach the hospital. It hurt me a lot and I decided to make the special floating ambulance on boat aimed to help thousands of dwellers who are living in houseboats.”

“People of Dal Lake are facing dozens of problems including health-related issues and they are not getting proper treatment at the time of emergency. So this floating ambulance which is under process will play a vital role to save the life of dwellers of Dal Lake ever in future,” he said.

Patloo added that the service was for the benefit of people living along Dal Lake. “The ambulance will provide proper health services to people during an emergency. I will try my best to keep all basic facilities including oxygen cylinder, ECG, Oximeter, wheelchair and stretcher and a toll-free number written on it so that people can contact easily,” he added.

Riyaz Ahmad a mechanic of the ambulance boat informed that the vessel was made up of wood and iron sheets and it will be 35 feet long and will have six feet space in middle.

“There are many incidents on the Dal Lake in which doctors say that if the patients come before 3 to 4 minutes, he could have saved his life. This facility will save time to reach a hospital. It will be helpful to tourists as well. Because during peak tourist season thousands of people from across the world visit the Valley. If they fall sick they need treatment. Now we can provide them timely treatment through this facility,” Bilal Ahmad a boat dweller said.